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Freeview intermittent interference

When you get occasional sound loss or picture freezes

When you get occasional sound loss or picture freezes
published on UK Free TV

There are several different types of interference that cause problems. This page deals with the situation where:

  • Freeview reception is perfect or near-perfect most of the time
  • The audio on TV and radio channels mutes momentarily a few times each minute
  • The picture on a Freeview channel freezes a few times each minute

There are two main causes of this type of intermittent interference:
  • 'Induction' interference
  • Mobile phone interference

Induction interference

Induction interference is caused by mains-powered household devices that contain a large motor, such as:
  • Washing machine;
  • Tumble dryer;
  • Central heating pump or combination boiler;
  • Fridge;
  • Freezer;
  • Power tools (drills, jigsaws etc)
  • Vacuum cleaners;
  • Water pumps;
  • Automatic doors

You can identify if one or more of these devices is causing the Freeview reception problem by powering off the devices.

If one of these devices is causing the problem, then the reception problem can usually be solved by using a mains filter device and use it on the Freeview boxes mains connection.

Such as device is this: Maplin: 6-Way Flat Screen and HDTV Surge Protector and Mains Filter.

Mobile phone interference

If you keep a mobile phone by your Freeview box or digital television, keep it further away!

This also applies to other transmitters such as baby monitors, video senders, walkie talkies, and portable phones.

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In this section
Official aerial installers guide to the TV spectrum future1
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Wednesday, 22 February 2012
9:53 PM


I live in Hackney East London and for the last several days I have been getting serious interference with the following channels ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. I have always had interference with these channels. However, the BBC channels are now being affected. This is a first.

I have no idea what could be possibly causing all this interference. It's driving me crazy. It's getting so bad that I lose reception all together and the screen goes blank.

Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation

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Dalstongirl's 1 post GB flag
Friday, 24 February 2012
Martin Twigg
11:13 AM

I live in Wiltshire and receive digtal reception from Chisbury. First phase digital channles all good reception from Feb 8th. Second phase on 22nd Feb i have intermittent interference on channel 4, e4, more 4 and 5. Causes loss of sound and picture. All HD channles have good reception.
Any Ideas would be welcome to resolve.

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Martin Twigg's 1 post SE flag
Saturday, 25 February 2012
11:14 AM

I live in North Bristol. I suffer intermittent interference (picture turns black and white, etc) on Film4, E4, More4.
I have a very strong signal and perfect reception on all channels. I have had no problems at all, until perhaps October 2011.
Is there a council or government department I should be contacting over this?
Would be grateful of any assistance.

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Keith's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 26 February 2012

1:29 PM

Keith: You should consult an aerial installer, surely?

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Briantist's 38,901 posts GB flag

1:44 PM

Martin Twigg: Have you tried all the things listed at the top of the page?

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Briantist's 38,901 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Steve Swift
6:17 AM

Is my mother suffering from Police interferance?
She gets picture pixelation, and sound glitches randomly, maybe 4-5 per hour. Less than 75m away is the Alton, Hants Police Station.

Are the police interfering with her? :-)

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Steve Swift's 7 posts GB flag

6:54 AM

Steve Swift: The TETRA system can be quite bad for this, so it is possible. You can usually overcome problems by using higher quality aerial cables (ie, satellite cable) but if the TETRA mast is between the aerial and the transmitter you might have to take other action.

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Briantist's 38,901 posts GB flag
5:39 PM

I've tried everything suggested , my tv is still pixelated and unwatchable.I have tried resetting the digital but keep getting bbc1 wales, Itv1 wales and s4c instead of channel 4 ! does not improve the picture either or sound!

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Julie's 8 posts GB flag
Julie's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage

5:58 PM

Julie if you are still receiving welsh and have done everything you can your only other option is to call an aerial man and he will be able to tune your tv back into granada you could also have a problem with your aerial but he will be able to tell you hope this helps

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Mazbar's 384 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

6:04 PM

Julie: I'm not sure whether this will cure your problem, but it is certainly the case that your TV tunes to Moel y Parc transmitter as that is where the Welsh variants are coming from. Where this is the case, then the signal being received is not from the direction to which the aerial is facing, so poor reception is to be expected.

Moel y Parc's highest channel is 52 and Winter Hill's are currently all above it.

From Winter Hill (in ascending order of channel number):

BBC B (HD services) = C54
Arq B (Yesterday etc) = C55
SDN (ITV3 etc) = C58
D3&4 (ITV1, C4, C5 etc) = C59
Arq A (Pick TV etc) = C61
BBC A (BBC TV & Radio) = C62

If, whilst scanning, your TV shows channel numbers, then have the aerial unplugged until it has gone past C52. If it's percentage, then plug it in at 66%.

If, once you've completed the tuning, you are missing any because you didn't get the aerial in in time, then add them manually.

Some time next year there will be a retune for Winter Hill due to the clearance of TV frequencies for use by 4G mobile services. BBC A will move to C50 and Arq A to C49, so when you complete this procedure, you will have to manually add these two.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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